Note: Are you a vegetarian or vegan and want to go on a ketogenic diet? It’s still possible! Just keep in mind that the dietary restrictions can sometimes be a little bit intense. Make sure to plan ahead and prepare to aid your success. To help out, we’ve published articles (with 7 day meal plans included) for both the vegetarian ketogenic diet and the vegan ketogenic diet.
The importance of dietary CHO is so well ingrained that the concept is taken for granted. In fact, basic macronutrient guidelines are predicated upon the idea that the central nervous system (CNS) requires a minimum of ~130 grams (~520 kcal) per day to function properly (i.e., to maintain optimal cognitive function). As a result, the minimum recommended daily intake of CHO reflects this idea (7). Similarly, most contemporary texts on sports nutrition emphasize the outsized role of CHO in optimizing both athletic performance and recovery (9). Frequently referred to as the “master fuel,” recommendations range from 3 – 12 grams per kilogram of bodyweight, per day. As an example, the recommended daily intake for a 180-lb athlete would be 246 – 982 grams, with a caloric equivalent of 984 – 3,928 calories. In marked contrast, the KD would recommend a maximum of just 50 grams (~ 200 calories) per day for the same individual.
Normal dietary fat contains mostly long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are more ketogenic than LCTs because they generate more ketones per unit of energy when metabolised. Their use allows for a diet with a lower proportion of fat and a greater proportion of protein and carbohydrate, leading to more food choices and larger portion sizes. The original MCT diet developed by Peter Huttenlocher in the 1970s derived 60% of its calories from MCT oil. Consuming that quantity of MCT oil caused abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting in some children. A figure of 45% is regarded as a balance between achieving good ketosis and minimising gastrointestinal complaints. The classical and modified MCT ketogenic diets are equally effective and differences in tolerability are not statistically significant. The MCT diet is less popular in the United States; MCT oil is more expensive than other dietary fats and is not covered by insurance companies.
The ketogenic diet, or keto, relies on using your fat as fuel, instead of glucose from carbohydrates or protein. Simply put, the daily ketogenic diet consists of 75 percent fat, 20 percent of protein, and a teeny allotment of carbohydrates, about 5 percent. This balance of macronutrients is intended to put your body in a state of ketosis, which suppresses the release of insulin and blood glucose levels. The benefits of ketosis to your health are improvements in biomarkers like blood glucose, reduction of blood pressure and decreased appetite due to fullness linked to consumption of fats.
Interested in trying a fad diet? There are plenty to choose from, and low-carb pasta can be incorporated into most. The Atkins, ketogenic, and paleo diets — to name just a few — all prescribe a low-carb lifestyle to support health and fitness. On these diets, instead of consuming carbs for energy, you will eat protein, healthy fats, fruits, and veggies. Each of the aforementioned programs allows for a small portion of carbs each day, so you can chow down on low-carb pasta without falling off plan.
Nutritional ketosis has been proposed as a mechanism through which hunger may be suppressed. A recent meta-analysis investigated the impact of diet on appetite and shed some light on this possible phenomenon (11). The meta-analysis included 12 studies which investigated the effect of either a very low energy diet (VLED: defined as <800 calories per day) or ketogenic low-carbohydrate diet (KLCD: defined as CHO consumption of <10% of energy or <50 g/day, but ad libitum consumption of total energy, protein and fat). Interventions ranged from 4 – 12 weeks and weight loss was from 5.0 to 12.5 kg. In all studies nutritional ketosis was confirmed in VLED and KLCD via circulating levels of β-hydroxybutyrate. Interestingly, both groups reported decreases in appetite. The results of this meta-analysis are noteworthy in two regards. The VLED groups were clearly and significantly hypocaloric, suggesting a state in which hunger should be increased, not decreased. Similarly, the KLCD groups experienced simultaneous reductions in weight and appetite, while eating an ad libitum diet. The results of this meta-analysis provide support for the theory that nutritional ketosis may exert an appetite suppressing effect.
Hi Shandelle, Sorry to hear that it didn’t rise for you! I don’t live at high altitude so can’t test in those conditions. I’ve read that high altitude baking usually requires reducing baking powder slightly and increasing oven temperature by 15-25 degrees. If your bread rose at first but then fell flat, this could help. If it never rose in the first place, you could try more baking powder and whisking the batter more to introduce more air. I’m so glad that you like the recipes overall though!
A keto diet has shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup. More specifically low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL particle concentration compared to low-fat diets.3A study in the long-term effects of a ketogenic diet shows a significant reduction in cholesterol levels, body weight, and blood glucose. Read more on keto and cholesterol >
Hi Patti, It’s up to you if you want to go by weight or by volume. I include both for convenience. Some people don’t want to weigh all their food, though weighing is definitely more accurate. The volumes listed are based on how a food is normally served, so for iceberg lettuce it would be chopped, not minced. It sounds like you’re weighing anyway, so in this case just use the weights instead (they are shown in grams in parentheses next to the volumes). Hope this helps!
This is the best keto bread recipe out there, in my opinion. I make it every week. The psyllium husk is brilliant and really makes this like more traditional bread. I add a TBL of swerve to help counter any egg taste too. Comes out great every time. Sometimes I add cheddar cheese and that’s delicious too! I love this bread. Thank you for sharing the recipe! It’s a winner!
Hi Lee, A blender might also work, if it’s powerful enough to chop up nuts. You’ll still want to use a pulse-stop-pulse method, and may need to stir between pulses. Otherwise, you can also try chopping up the nuts and seeds before mixing with the other ingredients. If you go that route, the resulting granola texture will be a little different compared to a food processor. I used a food processor partly because it makes both prep time and cleanup a lot faster, but also because that way you get a mix of larger chopped nuts and finer powder. I hope one of the other methods works out for you!
Supporting these results, Naude et al. (15) found a similar outcome in obese adults with and without type 2 diabetes. This meta-analysis of 19 randomized, controlled trials compared dietary interventions using standard CHO recommendation (i.e., 45 – 65%), low-carbohydrate/high protein (LCHP) and low-carbohydrate/high fat (this group, although not specifically stated, met the criteria for KD). Results demonstrated significant weight loss among all groups in the short-term (3 – 6 months) and long-term (1 – 2 years), with no significant difference among dietary interventions. The authors concluded that weight loss interventions using CHO restriction are equally effective as isocaloric diets of standard CHO recommendation.
If no food processor is at hand, you can also do it by hand (it just takes a little more time and arm muscle!). Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour in vinegar and whisk until thoroughly distributed. Pour in egg while whisking vigorously and keep whisking until the dough becomes too stiff to whisk. Using your hands, knead the dough until thoroughly incorporated, adding a teaspoon of water at a time as needed (we use 2).
I read through the comments and saw the same question about the whey replacement. Since I am on the atkins diet for an unknown medical issues, I’ve been looking to make high protien, low carb foods ranging from pasta all the way to gummy bears. In the process, I came across beef certain that has 12g of protien. I will buy the whey and use both to see how each batch turns out. Gelatin may seem odd, but with 12g or protien, I don’t see why it couldn’t work.whwn I make the batches, I’ll try to come back and post how they worked out.
With just 4g of carbs, this pasta, made from hearts of palm, is a plant-based pasta substitute you may not have heard about before. Palmini is low in calories, high in fiber, gluten free, and looks more like traditional pasta than some other alternatives. It can be purchased canned or in pouches. While you can eat it straight from the package, it also cooks up well—keeping its pasta-like consistency.
One of the central questions new adherents to the ketogenic diet must answer is whether or not they want to incorporate meat into their new diet. It is entirely possible to consume adequate levels of healthy fats whether you approach the diet as an omnivore or a vegetarian, so this decision is largely a personal one. However, if you choose to incorporate meat into your version of the ketogenic diet, it is crucial to ensure it is grass-fed, organic, and free of antibiotics. Furthermore, it is important to focus primarily on above-ground leafy vegetables, with meat serving as a side dish. An example of the perfect plate for a keto omnivore would be a sizeable portion of colorful, above-ground leafy vegetables covered with a healthy fat like olive oil, paired with a 3-5 oz serving of high-quality meat.
Well from what I’ve learned and of course there is conflicting info, no one is really an expert and every person is different, but I lose the bullet proof coffee but I’d rather “eat” my fat amount later in the day I guess. Like in the form of a sweet fat bomb or something. I’ve read that too much fat for where I’m at with just like 5 pounds to lose, I may not see the scale move because my body will only be burning the fat I’m eating. I’m still experimenting to see what works best for me. Right now I’m slowly losing and seeing results. I guess if the I stop seeing any results I will have to change things up. I will be sure to post about it.
Similar to the recommendations I make in Grain Brain, a ketogenic diet should derive a majority of its calories from fat. However, the optimal macronutrient ratio will vary from person to person. Some will thrive on roughly 80% of calories from healthy fats and 20% from carbohydrates and protein. Others may do better in the range of 60 – 75% of calories from fat and slightly more protein. I encourage you to experiment to find what works best for you. To meet this goal, you must consume plentiful amounts of healthy plant and animal fats. Some good examples of healthy fats include:
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A: The amount of weight you lose is entirely dependent on you. Obviously adding exercise to your regimen will speed up your weight loss. Cutting out things that are common “stall” causes is also a good thing. Artificial sweeteners, dairy, wheat products and by-products (wheat gluten, wheat flours, and anything with an identifiable wheat product in it).
My favorite sugar-free low carb BBQ sauce is a family recipe that I tweaked to make keto friendly. It is simple to prepare without a lot of added ingredients that aren’t necessary. You can find my recipe here. If you are looking for convenience, there are several brands that make a sugar-free variety that can be ordered from Amazon or you may find in your local stores. The only brand of store-bought sugar-free bbq sauce I have tried is by G. Hughes. They offer several different varieties, but I prefer hickory. I might be a little partial, but my homemade BBQ sauce makes this recipe taste much more authentic and flavorful.
Organic Soy Flour. Soy flour is derived from ground soybeans. It is somewhat similar to coconut flour in that it is quite dry and easily absorbs ingredients. It also has more protein than the keto flours we mentioned above and is an excellent source of dietary fiber. By buying organic soy flour, you can avoid GMO soybeans and the pesticides that are commonly used on them.
These tasty mini burgers are perfect for parties because they can feed your low carb AND carb-loving guests and no one will even miss that bread. Make them for tailgating parties, game day parties, summer picnics, or just a fun weeknight dinner for the family. Once you dip those little burger bites in that special sauce you’re going to be going back for seconds!
Hi Kelly, All packaged foods will have a nutrition label that list the macros per serving, including fat, protein and cabrohydrates. Net carbs, which is what most people look at for low carb and keto, are total carbs (the amount on the label) minus fiber and sugar alcohols, as explained in the article above. I have a low carb food list here that gives you a full list of all the foods you can eat, and the net carbs in each. You can also sign up above to be notified about the meal plans, which are a great way to get started.
As with cold cereals, your best bet for a low-carb breakfast cereal comes in the form of whole grains. Oatmeal is an excellent choice because it is high in fiber and contains a substance called beta-glucan, which slows down the digestive process. That means you will stay full throughout the morning. Bran cereals can also be eaten hot, and whole grains such as quinoa or grits can be flavored to be either savory or sweet. Quinoa goes especially well with walnuts and raisins, dates or dried figs. It is is also scrumptious when flavored with a little bit of coriander and served with a poached egg on top. Grits are also a natural partner for eggs, but they are also delicious with pecans and fresh blueberries. Drizzle a bit of honey, agave or real maple syrup on top for sweetness. This will increase the carb count a bit, but the nutritional benefits of starting your day with a hearty, hot breakfast are more than worth the few extra carbs.
I made these yesterday using straight from the fridge eggs and cream cheese, parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray (I folded up the sides of the paper to prevent leakage), and a mini-chopper. Even with these imperfect tools my noodles were perfect. I was able to just tilt the pan until the batter was covering the entire area, which made them fairly thin and a few on one side were over-done but still were fine in my faux chicken faux noodle soup. They cut easily and slid right off the paper. My kids had nothing bad to say either! I will make them thicker next time for eating in a sauce as they are fairly soft but did hold up in the soup and even by lunch today were still great. Thank you!